Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 02/16/09 at 11:00 AM ET
from Sam Kasan at PittsburghPenguins.com,
General manager Ray Shero tapped Bylsma to take over the Penguins, who are five points behind the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference, and lead the club to a postseason berth.
“That’s our goal,” Shero said. “It’s been uphill battle. This is a resilient group. I’m looking for Dan to come in with the coaches here to rally the troops. We’re looking to make some progress here and make a push. “
“To have an opportunity to coach a team with this much talent and this much possibility is a great chance for me,” Bylsma said. “I look at the players and the roster and I look at a group that can win games right now. We need to do that starting (Monday) on the Island. We can do this but the players have to believe that we can do this. That’s the approach that we’ll take.”
added 8:24am, from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
They have the 20th-ranked penalty-killing unit and are 21st in the NHL in goals against per game after being one of the top teams in the East defensively last season.
So Therrien was an easy mark.
He didn’t have enough chips in the bank. He wasn’t GM Ray Shero’s guy, having preceded Shero in Pittsburgh by half a season.
He was gruff and combustible and sometimes hard on people around him.
And you know what? He may have also saved this franchise.
added 8:29am, from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
That is why the finger of blame can swing toward Lemieux, the minority owner who has a huge say in running the team thanks to his status in Pittsburgh as a minor deity.
Almost one year ago, the Penguins were the most improved team in the NHL. But they had a couple of shortcomings that were making the ascension to champions less than a sure thing.
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